Basketball Hall of Famer Shaquille O'Neal has done a lot in his life, mostly in the realm of professional basketball, but also in the world of pop culture. Yet even with everything he's accomplished and achieved, there was one thing he had not done in his 48 years of life: vote.
The former Magic, Lakers, Heat, Suns, Cavaliers and Celtics center revealed on his podcast "The Big Podcast with Shaq," that he had never voted in an election, and that he did so for the first time this year with an absentee ballot.
"You know I always like being honest on my podcast. I've never voted before, America," O'Neal said. "But, now I'm doing all these voting campaigns, and you know one thing I never like to do is be a hypocrite."
"In other words, America, I voted for the first time, and it feels good."
His co-hosts were surprised at what he had just said, and co-host John Kincade even pressed him on the issue. The big thing that apparently kept Shaq from voting was not knowing how the electoral college works. He cited the 2016 election as an example of one person winning the popular vote, then-Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton, but the other winning the election, Donald Trump.
As for the bit where he mentions hypocrisy, that's in reference to his involvement with #MyStartingFive, a voting challenge to encourage more people to get registered and ready to vote. It's a program within Boston Celtics star Jayson Tatum and former first lady Michelle Obama's voting initiative, When We All Vote.
O'Neal noted there was "no excuse" for not voting earlier, and credited his decision to participate in the electoral process with his involvement in getting officials elected. He endorsed Atlanta's district attorney, Fani Willis, as well as sheriff candidates in Lafayette, Louisiana and Naples, Florida.